Good morning! When I shared todays bride, Janice, in her knitted jumper and sparkly wedding dress on Instagram a few weeks back, well you loved it, a lot! I’m delighted to be sharing her wedding to Graham at the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum today. Their day was incredibly stylish and filled with a family centred feel, as well as stunning details throughout. I hope you enjoy and have a great time welcoming in 2019 later! Happy New Year from all at Promise HQ, see you on the other side! xx
Couple: Janice + Graham
“We had our first date in the Bureau bar in Whiteabbey. I was late (as usual) and Graham very nearly went home! What was meant to be an afternoon coffee date turned into coffee, dinner, and a bus trip into Belfast for drinks until late.”
“We were on a city break in Berlin for a few days. Following an intense day viewing the Reichstag, Checkpoint Charlie and the Berlin Wall, Graham decided it was the perfect romantic moment to propose…
When we got back to the hotel that night Graham suggested a walk by the river. We’d been walking all day, so I wasn’t fussed, but went along with it. Then he insisted on going up to the hotel room to change his trousers before we went, which I also didn’t understand. Turns out the ring box wouldn’t fit in the pocket of the ones he had on! On the walk Graham got down on one knee and proposed in the moonlight on the banks of the River Spree, and I cried onto his face.”
Wedding date: Saturday 2nd December2017
Ceremony: Omagh Meeting House, Ulster Folk and Transport Museum
Reception: Cultra Manor, Ulster Folk and Transport Museum
“We really just wanted to be surrounded by friends and family and for everyone to have a great day. Graham has two sons, and it was a priority to feel like it wasn’t just a marriage between two people, but a family being expanded. I also love dancing and wanted to make sure everyone got on the dance-floor and let loose!
On a practical level, it was important to us that the venue was convenient for people – that it wasn’t too far away from where most of our friends and family lived, and then that people didn’t have too far to travel between the ceremony and the reception. We looked around quite a few venues, but as soon as we viewed the ceremony and reception venues at Ulster Folk and Transport Museum we knew it was the place for us – it was beautiful, a bit different and ticked all the boxes.”
Our Budget & Suppliers
“We didn’t really set a budget. We just accepted that it would cost what it would cost. Though we did have a very detailed spreadsheet recording every penny spent as we went along, so we always knew where we were financially. We were really lucky in that both sets of parents were very generous.
We had a few suppliers that we knew we wanted to be part of our day. I had seen Adam from The Just Adam Band at a friend’s wedding a few years before and thought he was brilliant – really charismatic, with great tunes and so good at getting everyone up and dancing. Apparently they were incredible at our wedding, though we hardly saw them as we were so busy chatting to people. Somehow we managed to entirely miss a conga line going through the whole venue!
Graham’s friend also has a son – Scott Macaulay – who is a singer-songwriter and was on Let It Shine. He came and did an acoustic set for us during the milling-about part of the day and was fantastic – he got rave reviews from guests!
Our photographer Lynn Stanfield is an old family friend – she lived next door to us growing up and I’ve known her since I was born, so we never even considered anyone else.
Also my Uncle (Derek Kernoghan at DKNI) is a florist, so he was a must-have! He very generously did all the flowers and decoration as a wedding gift.”
“We went with a cosy Winter luxe theme. I’m not a particularly sparkly kind of person, but I ended up buying a fully sequinned wedding dress and that set the ball rolling! The bridesmaids were in sequins, my mum was in sequins, the flower girl had sequins – there were sequins everywhere! I wanted lots of candles and a roaring fire, but our venue didn’t allow naked flames, so we went with lots of fairy lights instead, meaning even more sparkle!
Having said that, I really wanted to balance out the sparkle and sequins with different textures, so I wore a woolly jumper as my cover-up, and my mum knitted all of the bridesmaids gorgeous aran cable-knit wide scarves. Unfortunately we managed to miss getting photos of the bridesmaids in them! I wanted our flowers to feel very loose and natural to avoid things feeling too glam, so there was a lot of wild greenery with some cream and white blooms.
We also had a very understated star theme, with a star cake topper, little star bangles for the bridesmaids, a subtle galaxy design on our wedding stationery, and I walked up the aisle to City of Stars from LaLa Land. (Graham put his foot down at star cufflinks for the groom’s party.) There’s a bit of a long story behind it, but ultimately it just felt fitting for an almost-Christmas wedding!”
“My dress was called Caitlyn by Karen Willis Holmes. Though I loved my dress in the end, I didn’t particularly enjoy shopping for it. I think I’d watched too much Say Yes to the Dress and expected some huge emotional revelation, when actually it’s just some clothes! There’s so much pressure on brides to look perfect that it can kind of steal the fun of getting to try on lots of lovely expensive gowns.”
“My Mum is a great crafter and surprised us with a lovely cross-stitch she had hand-made with the details of our wedding, which we displayed at the entrance to the church.
As a combined favour and name-setting, I wanted each person to have a little cactus or succulent in a personalised pot, which as it turns out is easier said than done. It turned out to be a real family affair! Since we couldn’t find any small navy plant pots anywhere, my poor Dad ended up spending hours in his garage in the depths of winter spraying and re-spraying multi-coloured plant pots navy! My aunt hand-stamped over 100 personalised gold name-plates, and since we were trying to be organised, my florist uncle ordered the plants nice and early, but they seemed to grow really quickly and we ended up with a few monster cacti with my Dad desperately trying to stunt their growth!
We asked both sets of parents for photos of their weddings, and their parents’ weddings, so we had a lovely display of vintage family wedding photos going back to four sets of grandparents.
Graham was put to work building the table plan display, the idea of which I’d stolen lock, stock and barrel from Pinterest!”
“To be well organised, have a comprehensive to-do list and make sure you tick at least a few things off it every week. We were surprised with the amount of planning required. It’s like taking on a part-time job on top of your existing job and all your other commitments!
Accept all the help that’s offered for tasks that you can delegate, and keep a money spreadsheet! The night before the wedding, have a time after which nothing else is being done. At about 8.30 the night before the wedding, I sat down to fish, chips and a glass of wine with a big bunch of family, and it felt like the celebrations began then. From that point onwards everything went like a dream, and we had an idyllic, relaxed, fun day.”
Ceremony: Omagh Meeting House, Ulster Folk and Transport Museum.
Reception: Cultra Manor, Ulster Folk and Transport Museum.
Photographer: Lynn Stanfield Photography, Belfast.
Wedding dress: Caitlyn by Karen Willis Holmes, from Ivory and Pearl Bridal Boutique, Comber.
Bridesmaids dresses: Purchased online.
Alterations: Sheila’s Alterations, Whiteabbey.
Hair: DaniBelle Wedding Hair, Belfast.
Makeup: By Kerri Professional Make-up Artist, Lisburn.
Grooms wear: Red, Belfast.
Cake: Cakes by Jenny G, Newtownards.
Flowers: Derek Kernoghan at DKNI, Newtownabbey.
Bridal cars: Northern Ireland Wedding Cars.
Honeymoon: We spent two weeks in Zanzibar at the Ocean Paradise Resort.